Super SHEro - Lauren Lovett '05

Lauren Lovett, MSDA Class of 2005, is a Clinical Nurse 3 at a hospital in New York City. A typical day at work for Lauren in the days before COVID-19, weren’t days at all: “I’ve always worked nights running the main recovery room. I dealt with major spine surgeries and other orthopedic emergencies. We manage people on cardiac drips, ventilators to protect their airways, and I was in charge of responding to emergencies throughout the hospital.”

While Lauren is still on nights, they are definitely different. “Now I run the COVID ICU overnight. I have been working 5 and 6 nights a week. We have turned 9 of our operating rooms and a number of our PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) beds into makeshift ICU beds to help the city deal with the crushing number of vented patients. Each room houses two critically ill patients. The patients range from 30-80 years old - both previously healthy people to people with multiple underlying health problems. We are constantly busy, spending hours in the patient rooms titrating medications to keep people alive, adjusting vent settings based on their clinical presentation. When we know there is nothing left we can do, we FaceTime with patients’ family members so they can say goodbye to their loved ones.”

On what she is seeing, feeling and experiencing as a healthcare provider in the days of the pandemic, Lauren expressed some of her own feelings along with something she’d like all of us to consider; “I felt a lot of anxiety going into this new role of mine. But once I started I became more comfortable. It’s not as scary when you’re working with your coworkers who you enjoy and trust. There is always an underlying fear you will get sick but there’s also comfort knowing we are in this together and I have support from my colleagues. I wish people could see how devastating this virus is and what it can do to your body. We don’t even know the long-term effects this will have on people. I have had a number of coworkers die before their time because they were doing the job they love. I urge people to respect social distancing and stop trying to rush the reopening of everything. I know it’s hard, but it will be worth it to stop the spread.”

And one final thing Lauren wanted to share, because there is still good news out there; “We have been able to discharge people from our unit. Patients have recovered. Every time that happens it feels like a small victory. It makes the long hours worth it.”

From providing expert healthcare to those with the greatest need, to bringing loved ones together in the last moments of life, Lauren, we thank you for all you are doing, and wish strength and safety to you and your colleagues in healthcare worldwide.

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